SIOUX FALLS – The Grand Rapids Drive (21-20) picked up their eighth win in their last ten games by excelling in the first three quarters on their way to a 107-91 win over the Sioux Falls Skyforce (23-19) on the road. The Drive moved their record to above .500 for the first time since their ninth game of the season on November 28.
The Drive’s defense was stingy from the start, as they held Sioux Falls to nine points in the first quarter and 31 points at halftime, both easily season bests. The Skyforce recovered somewhat with a 60-point second half, but they at one point trailed by 40 points, making their strong fourth quarter where they outscored the Drive 34-13 too little, too late.
Marcus Thornton continued to be one of the hottest players in the G League for Grand Rapids, scoring 30 points despite not playing in the fourth quarter, including 24 points in the third quarter alone. He led the Drive in scoring for the fifth consecutive game, going 7-of-12 from three-point range in the process. Isaiah Whitehead added 22 points, Todd Withers scored 14, Michael Bethea Jr. chipped in 13 points off the bench and Speedy Smith led the team with 13 assists.
DeAndre Liggins scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench for Sioux Falls, both of which were team highs. He also knocked down five of his nine attempts from deep. Rodney Purvis and Kyle Washington each scored 10 points to make them the only other Skyforce players who scored in double figures, although Sioux Falls did have four players score eight points apiece.
Nearly half of Grand Rapids’ field goal attempts (39-of-85) were from three-point range, and they connected on 38 percent of them. The Drive also held advantages in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, assists, and turnovers.